Race 8, Memphis
In the last practice
(also known as "happy hour"), the truck was still a bit slow. There wasn't
much we thought we could do, so to conserve tires, we parked the truck
for the night.
The next morning, we
again made changes to the setup, in hopes of coming up with a combination
that would be good for the whole race--not just a two-lap qualifying run.
When the race started, the thing still felt funny, so I held on, and ended
up fading back to around 8th spot. Finally, a caution came out at a time
when most trucks needed new tires. We decided to stay out and gain track
position. We found ourselves in 3rd when the green came out, only to have
another caution come out a few laps later. Our strategy was to have the
freshest tires on the track with about 20 or 30 laps in the race. So therefore,
we again, chose not to pit.
and I went for the same opening on the track, and he hit me, sending me
into a spin...Just as I was starting to move back towards the front, a
truck wrecked right in front of me..."
When the next green
came out, the early race leaders began to work their way back towards
the front. I began to feel as if I was in the middle of a truck sandwich…
I had a lapped truck in front of me and the guys who'd been leading the
race were pecking at my rear bumper. Then, another lapped truck made a
move in an attempt to pass the leader, and nudged him out of the way.
Everybody saw what was happening, and tried like heck to avoid getting
caught up in the mess. As it turned out, Mike Wallace and I went for the
same opening on the track, and he hit me, sending me into a spin. I got
the truck to do a 360, I pointed it in the right direction, and kept going.
By the time I had my bearings, I was in 21st spot, and prevented a caution
from coming out.
Just as I was starting
to move back towards the front, a truck wrecked right in front of me.
As I checked up, I got drilled from behind, pushing me into the truck
in front of me. There was no steam or anything coming from under the hood,
just some bent up sheet metal, so when I took the caution, I drove into
the pits. The crew pulled the metal away, and as I was sitting there,
I noticed my oil temperature pegged, and my water temperature was "up
there". I went back out onto the track, and shortly thereafter, the engine
blew. There my day ended. Victim of a busted radiator fitting.
There's not much else
to say, other than the engine under the hood was fairly stout, and despite
not having a perfect suspension, I think we would have ended up with another
top ten finish. Now it's on to Pike's Peak…
Preparation for Pikes
We'll be taking the
Memphis truck to race at Pike's Peak, with a new engine (of course) and
some shiny new sheet metal. What's going to make the difference at Pike's
Peak is the fact that NASCAR is going to allow an extra 8 hours of testing,
which will DEFINITELY come in handy. We'll be concentrating again on setting
up the truck for long runs on this flat one-mile speedway. We've had only
moderate success at this track. In the past, we've qualified well, but
always seem to get caught up in bad luck later in the race. I think things
will be a bit different this year. What's the difference? We now have
a drop-snout truck that handles well on flat corners… We have a team that
knows we can win, and we have a paved parking area that will prevent us
from sinking up to our axles in mud. What else can we ask for?
I - Road to Daytona
Volume II - Daytona 250
Volume III - Florida Dodge Dealers 400
Volume IV - The Mini-Vacation
Volume V - Chevy Trucks 150
Volume VI - Dodge California Truck Stop 250
Volume VII - Napa 250
Volume VIII - Line-X 225K
Volume IX - Ram Tough 200
Volume X - Memphis 200
Volume XI - Grainger.com 200
Volume XII - Sears 200
Volume XIII - DieHard 200
Volume XIV - Silverado 200
Volume IX Pages: